This page will explain to you what Auto Breaking is, and will help you determine if you should use our online reporting system to file a report.

What is an Auto Breaking?

Auto Breaking is the breaking or attempt to break into a motor vehicle or its compartments with the intent to steal it or anything of value from it.

Examples of Auto Breaking

  • A person breaks the driver’s side window out of your vehicle and steals your GPS.

When to not use the online report

Do not use the online reporting system, to report an Auto Breaking, if you would like to have your vehicle processed for possible evidence, or there is any visible evidence (such as blood, fingerprints, or an item that doesn’t belong to you) in or on the vehicle. Please call (803) 252-2911 and have an officer respond to you.
If you file an online Auto Breaking report, the Columbia Police Department will not be able to process your vehicle for evidence, which may hinder in the apprehension or prosecution of a suspect.

If you feel your incident fits in the Auto Breaking category, please use the follow tips when completing your report:

When filling out the incident report, there will be a number of information fields and options. Only fields marked with a * are required; however, the other fields may help us if we need to contact you.

What to write in the Incident Description section

When completing the incident description section, remember that the keys to a good description are accuracy and brevity. Include what happened, where it happened, when it happened, how it happened, and who did it (if applicable). Do not include opinions or information that is not related to the incident. Below is an example of how an incident description should be written for an auto breaking report:

“Between the listed dates and times, unknown person(s), entered listed vehicle, which was parked at the incident location, by unknown means. Subject(s) removed a Garmin GPS unit, Apple iPod, and $4.65 in miscellaneous change. The vehicle was secure”.

Please complete the propety section and include the information for each item that was taken. If at all possible, include the serial numbers of stolen items.